Reds vs. Orioles: RHP Dylan Axelrod vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez

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Cincinnati Reds (66-72) vs. Baltimore Orioles (80-57)

RHP Dylan Axelrod (1-0, 1.64 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .220 OAV) vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (7-7, 3.61 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .263 OAV)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014: 7:05 p.m. at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

It has been just two starts against two of the weaker teams in the National League (the Rockies and Cubs), but Dylan Axelrod has impressed so far in a Reds uniform. His real test begins Wednesday night when he takes to the hill against the mashing Baltimore Orioles.

His only experience against the Orioles came in 2012 in a start at Camden Yards. Going 7.1 innings, he would allow just one run on three hits en route to a victory as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

Through Axelrod’s front two starts with Cincinnati, he has run his pitch counts through the ceiling in limited workloads. Thankfully, with the expansion of the roster due to September call-ups, the Reds bullpen is bursting at the seams with fresh arms. No matter how long, or how many pitches it takes Axelrod to get the job done, with a potential shot at being in the Reds rotation come next spring on the line, expect the crafty right-hander to employ it.

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

RF – Nick Markakis (1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K)

CF – David Lough (2-for-2, 1 2B)

DH – Adam Jones (0-for-3, 2 K’s)

LF – Nelson Cruz (1-for-3, 1 RBI)

1B – Chris Davis (1-for-2, 1 2B)

SS – J.J. Hardy (0-for-3, 1 BB)

3B – Kelly Johnson (3-for-8, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

C – Caleb Joseph (yet to face Axelrod)

2B – Jonathan Schoop (yet to face Axelrod)

Arguably the most consistent member of the Orioles’ rotation has been the Mexican born Miguel Gonzalez. Over his last eight starts, only one has been of the non-quality variety, as he lowered his ERA almost an entire point from 4.56 to 3.61.

His last start out against the Minnesota Twins on August 29 was the best he has had on the season. He would go seven innings while allowing just one run on four innings and striking out six en route to an easy 9-1 Baltimore victory.

Never in Gonzalez’s career has he gone the distance. With an Orioles bullpen that was thrust into heavy action late in the night, getting Gonzalez out of the game as early as possible is going to be key for the Redlegs.

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

CF – Billy Hamilton (yet to face Gonzalez)

1B – Todd Frazier (yet to face Gonzalez)

2B – Brandon Phillips (yet to face Gonzalez)

C – Devin Mesoraco (yet to face Gonzalez)

RF – Jay Bruce (yet to face Gonzalez)

DH – Ryan Ludwick (yet to face Gonzalez)

LF – Skip Schumaker (yet to face Gonzalez)

3B – Kristopher Negron (yet to face Gonzalez)

SS – Ramon Santiago (0-for-1, 2 BB’s, 1 K)

After meandering around the ballpark until after midnight on Tuesday, both clubs will hope to get out much earlier on Wednesday night.

The quick strike Baltimore offense flexed their muscles in the series opener, as the Redlegs look to respond with a victory in the second game of three, which gets underway at 7:05 p.m.